There are around 800 different Olive Cultivars in Italy alone, many of which are used for Olive Oil. Similarly to grape varieties in wine, the Olive cultivar influences the flavour profile of your oil.  Different cultivars, depending on size of fruit, thickness of the skin, composition of the pulp can produce different yields, varying concentrations of anti-oxidants and overall different quality levels.



As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.



Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.



People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.


This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Crackers

Crisp and with a hint of sea salt and sesame seeds, these wonderful Olive Oil Crackers give you reason to never go back to the shop bought version. They come together quickly and they keep for a number of days.


250g    Ancient grain all-purpose flour – we used senator Cappelli from

1 tsp    Baking powder

115ml  Water

30 ml   Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing – we used Rozo from Frantoio Parovel in Friuli

½ tsp   salt

½ tsp   smoked paprika

A pinch of cayenne pepper

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Sea salt flakes and black sesame seeds for sprinkling


In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.

Add the water and extra virgin olive oil and bring together with a fork to begin with, followed by your hands to form a soft dough. It should have a firm consistency but you can add a few drops more water if it’s getting too dry.

Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F

Line baking sheets with parchment and then turn out the dough on to a clean, lightly floured work surface.

Break off pieces of dough, roughly the size of a whole walnut and then roll each one out as thin as possible without tearing.

Place the crackers on to the baking sheet and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked sea salt and the sesame seeds. Press them lightly in to the dough so that they stay put.

Bake for around 6-7 minutes until blistered, golden and dry. Cool on a wire rack.

If you are able to resist eating them all at the first sitting, store in a tin or airtight box.

The Olive Oil Carrot Cake with a slice taken out of it.

The Olive Oil Carrot Cake

This recipe was shared with me by a great friend (the best way to receive recipes!) just a few weeks ago and we’ve already made it twice!READ MORE

Citrus and Hazelnut Slaw

There is something seriously good about a crisp, refreshing salad on a cold day. It livens the tastebuds and contrasts so brilliantly with the richer flavours of the season.READ MORE

Prawns with Bergamot Mayonnaise

Autumn Recipes

Most people know Bergamot because it’s that citrus hint in Earl Grey tea.  Less known is that it is native Italian plant, from Calabria, naturally crossed between lemons and bitter orange.  Its rind is full of oil, and it’s primarily used for this, especially in the cosmetic industry – not just tea.READ MORE